Pitch Update: Instagram, ScottishPower, Regent Seven Seas, CBRE, Buzzbike, Caribbean and more

PRWeek's weekly round-up of pitches and account moves.

Instagram swipes right on John Doe

John Doe has been appointed as the UK agency for Instagram’s 2020 youth culture activity following a competitive pitch. The picture- and video-sharing social network has recruited John Doe to execute a creative PR and influencer strategy designed to inspire young people to express themselves through the platform. This adds Instagram to a youth culture roster that includes Red Bull, Adidas Originals, Massive Cinema Shutdown for the BFI and Absolut Vodka, among others.   

ScottishPower chooses Stripe

ScottishPower has retained Stripe Communications as its comms agency, following a competitive pitch. Read more.

Air Charter Service books FINN 

The Air Charter Service (ACS) has appointed Finn Partners as its agency of record to implement a global strategic communications campaign. Finn Prartners' global Travel & Lifestyle practice will focus on media relations to drive ACS sales once travel restrictions are lifted, and to drive consumers to its travel restrictions website. The agency will seek to solidify ACS’ reputation among international media as a “leading” private jet broker. The campaign will be led by partners Carly Reed from Finn Partners’ London office, and Helen Ames from the New York office. Debbie Flynn, managing partner and interim global travel practice leader for Finn Travel & Lifestyle, expects companies and individuals to look at private air travel as a viable alternative to commercial travel following the coronavirus pandemic and the likely impact it will have on busy airports.

Regent Seven Seas books agency

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has appointed The PC Agency as its retained PR partner in the UK and Ireland. Read more.

Training provider Firebrand seeks Clarity

Clarity PR has been appointed by training provider Firebrand to assist its growth by highlighting its expertise in supporting employers and employees looking to close the UK’s digital skills gap. Firebrand is a global provider of accelerated training, offering more than 700 certification courses in IT, cybersecurity, cloud and project management. Since 2001, more than 75,000 students from over 100 countries have achieved their certifications with the company. Firebrand has pivoted to an entirely virtual online instructor-led training strategy since the COVID-19 lockdown began. 

CBRE hires Newgate

Newgate Communications has been appointed to manage the EMEA communications for one of the world's biggest real estate investment management firms, CBRE Global Investors, following a competitive pitch process. CBRE Global Investors, which has $112.9bn in assets under management, sponsors investment programmes across the risk/return spectrum for investors worldwide. Newgate’s brief covers real estate and investment. The account team will be led by managing partners Henry Columbine and Alistair Kellie.

Rooster crows about Surge

UK fitness brand Surge has appointed Rooster to help launch its new Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) studios, following a ‘highly competitive’ pitch process. Read more.

Synoptic switches to Propeller

Synoptic, a software company that offers SaaS products and applications, has hired technology PR agency Propeller Group to lead its communications across the UK. Propeller’s primary objective is to raise awareness for the launch of Synoptic’s Intelligence Platform, which provides intelligence gathering, emergency alerting, travel and tracking management, predictive threat analysis and trend/demographic analysis. Propeller said the platform offers clinician and management applications to hospitals for immediate use during the coronavirus pandemic to help tackle disparate, disjointed data and lack of real-time data flow from the frontline upwards. Synoptic powers the COVID-19 platform for the NHS, among other clients.

UK agency wins Caribbean tourism client

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation Chapter UK & Europe has appointed Lotus as its UK PR agency. Read more.

Buzzbike turns to Fanclub

Bike subscription platform Buzzbike has appointed Fanclub PR as its public relations agency partner. Fanclub will lead its consumer and corporate communications as it works closely with Buzzbike to meet growing customer interest and raise the brand’s profile. Founded in 2016, Buzzbike provides subscribers with a bike and lock delivered to their door, insurance against theft, on-demand servicing, and rewards for riding via its app. Buzzbike also partners companies including Spotify, Harrods, and Sweaty Betty. With many Londoners seeking alternatives to public transport to reduce the threat of infection and the spread of COVID-19, Buzzbike has reported a 440 per cent surge in demand for its bike subscriptions over the past three months. 

Trend Micro extends WE contract

WE Communications has won an expanded remit with Trend Micro – an enterprise data security, cloud and cybersecurity solutions provider – adding a UK comms programme to its portfolio. The brief was awarded to WE following a competitive pitch in February. The new scope of work builds on WE’s partnership with Trend Micro in  Australia and the US. Drawing on these global relationships, as well as the agency’s deep understanding of Trend Micro’s solutions and the UK media landscape, WE will seek to strengthen its position as the leading cloud security provider in the UK market.  

Higgidy extends Kazoo contract 

Fresh food brand Higgidy has extended its contract with Kazoo Communications following its Share A Piece of the Pie campaign in March, which saw the brand generate a 71 per cent share of voice. The next phase of the PR programme, which spans into 2021, includes two campaigns: a social-led initiative to raise awareness of Higgidy's new oven-bake dishes in support of NHS Charities Together, and a summer campaign focused on the #SimplePleasures consumers have rediscovered during lockdown to help promote its new summer product range. Kazoo’s remit covers campaign launches, consumer and trade media relations, corporate profiling and an influencer programme.

Northern Hive wins several briefs

Manchester-based marketing and PR agency Northern Hive has won several briefs in the UK and Canada in recent weeks. Toronto-based Association Quantum has chosen Northern Hive to manage its press office and thought-leadership campaigns in the UK and North America. Separately, same-day delivery firm Speedel has reappointed Northern Hive to manage a b2b communications and content campaign highlighting its expertise in the aerospace, healthcare, legal and manufacturing sectors. Meanwhile, Hartpury College and Hartpury University has also reappointed Northern Hive, to handle communications and manage online activity around its major international equestrian competitions and the FEI European Championships. The agency has also won a brief to handle comms for carbon-negative yoga mat brand Form. 

Oak Group appoints FWD

Private-client, corporate services and fund administration specialist Oak has appointed FWD as its retained PR and communications consultancy. With offices in Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta and Mauritius, and assets under administration of more than £20bn, Oak has tasked FWD with increasing its exposure in national, international, regional and trade media and raising the business’ profile both within and beyond its core markets. The FWD team comprises Roddy Watt, director, Santi Dharmawan, account director and William Moray, account executive. 

Moxi Loves Catalyst

Hair and beauty PR agency Catalyst has been appointed to handle the UK launch, PR and communications strategy for beauty essentials brand Moxi Loves. The brand is the brainchild of Pamela Laird, known for her success on The Apprentice. The idea came from a gap she identified in the market for intelligent removal solutions that do what consumers need, while being sustainable, biodegradable and kind to skin. 

SOLLA hires Jack & Grace

The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) has appointed communications agency Jack & Grace to rethink its social-media strategy and manage its content and platforms. SOLLA helps older people and their families find trusted accredited financial advisers. The agency will deliver campaigns on the gender pension gap, highlighting what the Coronavirus Act means for older people and social care.

PRWeek UK is committed to having a more diverse selection of commentators in our articles, and is compiling a list of BME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) PR professionals who are willing to be quoted. To be added to the list, please email john.harrington@haymarket.com and include your specialist areas of expertise, and/or preferred subjects for commentary.

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